A Frondly Challenge! Banish the moth balls from your brain. Guess the biological identity of this macrophoto.
Clever Clue: The most sensitive chemical detector known in biology, the object in this image can selectively sniff one molecule in a cubic meter of air.
How to Play: If you’re sure you know what this is, don’t give the game away. Instead, contribute some scientific tidbit of information on the topic. Have fun, be creative, the loonier the better 😉
Wild guesses are encouraged, Mz Maau 🙂
OK, here’s a titillating clue: the owner of this object has sex on his mind 😀
I was drawn to the answer as if it were a flame
If I am correct then this little guy’s name is quite literally the bomb which is pretty friggin awesome considering that it’s fluffy hat is being “reverse engineered” to sniff out bombs.
Haha, awesome, Steve Llano ! Fact is, you could have detected your soul mate if she was 11 km away!
This is quite a pheromenal question.
♫ Love is in the air ♫ Aria L 🙂
Koen De Paus , call me loony but I can’t quite sniff out the moniker (give me a clue…do you refer to the Latin name?). Agree on the reverse engineering..biomimicry?
No idea, but I like the picture!
Some sort of moth?
As a software engineer i googled for it and i got nothing. lol
prabhat parimal , the opposite end of the tail 🙂
Channel your google-fu Felix He ! You can sniff it out.
I indeed sense an explosive Latin name but I suspect that others in its larger family might also wear these funny hats so I could very well be wrong. Of one thing I am sure; this is the moth’er of all silly hats. 🙂
Rolling on the olfactory floor (ROLF!), Koen De Paus 😀
prabhat parimal , getting warmer. These feed information to the neurons.
Obviously moth antenna (unless I’m wrong, and then they are something else)
Dendrites? …if not, i give up
All this guessing is luna-cy. The photo triggered my (metaphorical) antennae, and a quick Google search yielded the answer. I could joke about it, but I’ve been told that my jokes often seem “moth eaten.”
A clue just for you, prabhat parimal ..the creature being discussed is mentioned in the first line of this post 😉 But it’s not so well known that this creature has a terrific sense of smell. The object in the image waves around in the air and detects pheromones.
the problem with these AFAIR
wasis that they are very specialised (they detect a single type ofmolecule), as opposed to, say, some fluffy and playful fellow mammalians who have high resolution chemical detectors…
We do have an olf-ul lot of these detectors, Sabin Iacob 😉
Damn it, I too unleashed my google fu (cheating! :p) and my bomb just werewolved into a tidecontroller. 😦
Robert Woodman , did you hear the pun about the royal family of the Stone dynasty that loved to collect moths? They had to throw them all out because A ruling Stone gathers no moths .
Ha! Got it! you guys are clever… Unfortunately, I am not that witty to be able to describe it without giving it away… Very interesting creature!
I didn’t know the word FROND 😦
Koen De Paus , you did not quite bomb the answer. These are common to “saturniid, bombycid, and lasiocampid families”.
prabhat parimal , frond is like a feather (I was fooling around with “friendly”). Never mind that, but did you find a flying insect in the sentence that followed?
The moth-er of all green monsters, Thex Dar 🙂
Check my stream for how they use their genitals to thwart bat attacks.
Whoa, Chad Haney , how did I miss that post? Very cool. Also ties in with my give-away in the first line of this post 😀
Check out this ballsy move, everyone! http://goo.gl/bxeim
Seems everyone has already narrowed it down to a lepidopteran of some form. Since the antenna is not clubbed we can rule out butterflies. It’s white…..I’m going to guess Tiger Moth. Winning?
Another fun fact about these guys is the adults have no mouths at all, thus cannot eat. Eating just takes away from the more important things in life anyway, like mating 🙂
Chris Mallory , how tragically romantic. They live for love 😛
BiologyCorner , thanks for the distinction from the flutter byes 🙂 You could be right, although, this particular photo has been tagged to one whose color is the same of your profile pic.
What a manly picture. 😛
I know what it is now! I won’t spoil it though, as Neil deGrasse Tyson said… “don’t get me started on the moon” (http://youtu.be/u5-i-I2DUa0)
Robert Byrne was right when he said, “Anybody who believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach flunked geography” as these little fellows will attest to!
That’s a funny video, BiologyCorner ! I’m glad I didn’t leave you baying at the moon in frustration 😉
Azlin Bloor , great quote..flunked biology too, for sure 🙂
Just kidding around, Azlin Bloor 🙂
It does look like a golden leaf, but it’s not Irfan Toheed .
I know you are Rajini Rao! Never fear otherwise! xx
Whew, thanks Azlin Bloor 🙂
Rajini Rao Groan! 😀 Thanks for that!
Its a spider. Or some sort of similar species.
Google fu worked 😀
It shouts a lot to scare the shit out of bats.
Dark skies make it more beautiful.
Haha, awesome info Arnav Kalra .
Rajini Rao also, dark skies help it by preventing it from getting eaten.
Haha, really? #googlefail
why are the antenna’s that gold colour, maybe to attract their mate?
You could be right, Sandi D . This is the brightly colored Luna Moth. According to Wiki: “Nocturnal moths on the other hand are usually plain brown, grey, white or black and often with obscuring patterns of zigzags or swirls which help camouflage them from predators as they rest during the day. However, many day-flying moths are brightly coloured, particularly if they are toxic. These diurnal species evolved to locate their mates visually and not primarily by pheromone as their drab nocturnal cousins.”
some insects use their antenna’s to communicate and to know wind direction , do moths?
bit like butterflies?
Yes, that’s right..butterflies can also display bright colors to warn off predators. Monarch butterflies are toxic and the Viceroy mimics the Monarch coloring.
The Rosy Maple Moth here is a pastel delight! http://www.natureatcloserange.com/2011/06/moths-at-back-porch.html
There nice to watch as their soo graceful. I’m going to look that up!
Something to consider, the compounds that insects use as pheromones are esters of fatty acids, usually methyl esters.
Methyl esters of fatty acids are what is used to make biodiesel. You take waste fat, and turn it into methyl esters. If some of the fatty acids in the waste fat are the same as in the insect pheromones, then biodiesel will be a gigantic attractant of those insects.
Some insect consumers (parasitic wasps for example) also use these same pheromones to home in on insects. Some plants generate these compounds to attract insect predators when the plants are being eaten by insects.
Biodiesel might have adverse environmental effects through disrupting signaling by insects.
Food for thought, David Whitlock . We don’t want another bee disaster on our conscience. I do like the japanese beetle pheromone traps, though 🙂
Good shot, Paul Bosley 🙂
Legolas could not have aimed better 🙂
Somebody once theorized that their larvae killed the dinosaurs! http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blogland/2013/jul/01/beautiful-notion-caterpillars-killed-dinosaurs/
Liz Krane , oh yes..the image of a colorful swarm hovering over the remains of giants is quite stunning!
Paul Bosley , do me a favor. Run to your Netflix account or local Blockbuster store and rent all three episodes of LOTR right now. Extended versions, of course 😉
Actually, I thought Peter Jackson’s Hobbit was a great let down after the trilogy.
The Shire! Is it this, Paul Bosley ?http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/shirecountrypark
Paul Bosley 🙂 🙂
You will then be pleased to know that I once posted a picture of Richard Armitage in a thinly veiled discussion of beauty and symmetry 😉 https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RajiniRao/posts/XRzdH4rR5y4
Purloin Gandalf’s steed, Shadowfax, and no one will care 😀
Did anyone say the male vaporer moth? To quote Will Smith “those joints can pick up cable”
Is it some sort of moth? Mabey a Luna Moth
The Antennaes of a moth at least
what a fun post. Thanks Rajini Rao. Coming late to the game — everyone knows what it is by now — but what the hey and FWIW, I’d have used this clue: “The owners of these highly sensitive olfactory sensors have a ‘radio hour’ named after them on NPR” 🙂
I’d forgotten about that radio show, what a clever hint John Christopher ! If you take a science/nature photograph that I can share here, do let me know 🙂
Always good to see Thorin on my G+ stream, Paul Bosley 🙂
Thanks Rajini Rao I’ll keep that in mind… Meanwhile… I take it some subjects are off the table (?) (e.g. http://goo.gl/vngcM )
LOL, we science curators on G+ have our hands full with pseudoscience already, thanks.
Ah, OK, I thought I’d ask since I do hike some of the same woods, and don’t always shave… (How about a picture of a big-foot-in-mouth then?)
Haha, I see that creature (Homo footinthemouthus ) in the mirror everyday. My audience here would recognize him/her in an instant 😉
:)) Reminds me of an RV park we stayed at, inside Yellowstone NP a couple of years ago, and there were signs all over “Caution, this is prime bear habitat” (!) I thought it must be a new species, perhaps a hybrid “Ursus RVparkus Americanus”? (Apparently some individuals have bright red colored necks)
You can tell a male from a female, because males have larger, bushier antennae.
So this is a male Luna Moth!
Indeed, Keyur Shah , thanks for “playing” 🙂
That sounds like a lot of fun!
David Bird , I’ll have another one coming up soon. Stay tuned 🙂
Yup… All Antennae Up for the new one !
A new challenge is up, take a guess: http://goo.gl/OoS1wu
A moth antana